Los Angeles Ordered to Pay Nearly $150,000 to NRA

October 3, 2020 Updated: October 4, 2020

A federal judge has ordered the city of Los Angeles to pay nearly $150,000 to the National Rifle Association (NRA).

U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson, a Reagan appointee, issued the 36-page order on Sept. 29 following a legal challenge by the NRA against Los Angeles for an ordinance that required companies and individuals to disclose whether they had contracts with or sponsored the gun-rights group.

The ordinance, which took effect on April 1, 2019, after unanimous approval by the City Council, enabled the city to revoke contracts if contractors didn’t disclose all links to the NRA.

NRA lawyers filed a lawsuit later that month, alleging the ordinance violated the U.S. Constitution’s First and Fourteenth Amendments.

In a statement at the time, Democrat Mayor Eric Garcetti said he supported the policy.

“I’m confident in it, and we’re not going to be bullied by the NRA,” he said.

Wilson granted a preliminary injunction against the ordinance late last year.

“Even though the ordinance only forces disclosure of activity that may not be expressive, the clear purpose of the disclosure is to undermine the NRA’s explicitly political speech,” he wrote, citing public statements made by Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, a Democrat who had said he supported boycotts of businesses that dealt with the NRA.

The judge ruled the NRA was likely going to prove the law violated the Constitution.

A picture of Wayne LaPierre
A picture of Wayne LaPierre at the National Rifle Association (NRA) booth during CPAC 2019 in National Harbor, Md., on Feb. 28, 2019. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The city council voted in January to repeal the ordinance.

“The same city officials who vowed to defend this ordinance are on the run,” Jason Ouimet, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, said in a statement after the vote. “In addition to the NRA members they wronged, city officials must now answer to voters and taxpayers for their failed experiment, and explain why they recklessly subjected the city to legal and financial exposure.”

Wilson’s new order noted that plaintiffs sought to recover over $472,000 in attorneys’ fees. He granted the motion in part, ordering the city of Los Angeles to pay $143,160.74. He said some of the billing hours appeared unreasonable, and reduced the amount.

The city was also told to pay over $1,000 more in costs. In a response filing, city attorneys asked for the total of $1,073.55 to be reduced to $244.65.

Garcetti’s office and the office of Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer didn’t immediately respond to requests by The Epoch Times for comment.

NRA spokeswoman Amy Hunter told The Epoch Times via email, “Violations of any constitutional rights by government officials should carry consequences. The courts have rightfully imposed those consequences upon Los Angeles.”

“The NRA will continue our fight and, as always, work to hold politicians accountable,” she said.

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